Lichfield Cathedral‘s ornate West Front was extensively renovated by Sir George Gilbert Scott from 1855 to 1878. He restored the cathedral to the form he believed it took in the Middle Ages, working with original materials where possible and creating imitations when the originals were not available. It is recognised as some of his finest work.
The history of the cathedral goes right back to the beginning of the eighth century, but the building as it stands today owes much to its restoration by George Gilbert Scott (1811-1878). James Wyatt worked on it from 1788-95, and Sydney Smirke from 1842-46, but, says Nikolaus Pevsner, “in all stylistic considerations at Lichfield it must be remembered that the vast majority of the details is Scott’s” (177). Scott took charge in 1857, and work continued after his death under his son, John Oldrid Scott (1841-1913). In this way, the Victorian restoration programme lasted right up until the end of the reign. The cathedral is of warmly modulated ashlar with slate roofs, and is relatively small, at only 371’ long (Pevsner 174), but it is a pleasant walk from the main part of the picturesque town, and makes an extra impact because of its exceptionally beautiful natural setting, and the well-preserved Close around it. The cathedral is seen here across Minster Pool, in about 1890.